NGCC Help for Heroes auction: once-in-a-lifetime trip

Last month, Steve Godwin and wife Rosalind returned from 'the trip of a lifetime' to Florida after making the highest bid in a Volvo National Golf Club Challenge (NGCC) auction

TPC Sawgrass

Last month, Steve Godwin and wife Rosalind returned from 'the trip of a lifetime' to Florida after making the highest bid in a Volvo National Golf Club Challenge (NGCC) auction.

The once-in-a-lifetime holiday included an overnight stay at TPC Sawgrass and a round of golf on the Stadium Course, four nights at Bay Hill in Orlando and a meeting with golfing legend Arnold Palmer, return flights, additional rounds and overnight stays and a round with Ryder Cup star Graeme McDowell at Lake Nona.

The NGCC helps raise money for Help for Heroes through events, auctions and a nationwide competition, the UK's biggest amateur charity golf event.

"Rosalind said to me before I left to go to Stoke Park [where the auction was held] that if I was going to bid for anything to 'get GMac,'" said Steve.

"So I did, although when I told her, she though it was a wind up for days! The fact it was for such a good cause was a contributing factor in the decision to bid.

"The bravery and determination of our servicemen and women in inspiring, as is the dedication of the people involved in their rehabilitation and fundraising. How could you not want to support that?"

Steve said it was hard to single out the best course as they were all magnificent. Playing The Bears Club, Jack Nicklaus' private course, is a privilege not afforded to many, and Sawgrass is one of the most renowned golfing destinations in the world.

Steve said it was the toughest of the courses, but he did manage to stay dry on Sawgrass' famous par-3 17th.

"It was truly inspiring playing all these courses, and hard to stop yourself thinking of all the greats who had played them.

"The three finishing holes at Sawgrass and Bay Hill are spectacular and TV does not do them justice."

The highlight of the trip, though, was the meeting with G-Mac at Lake Nona. After golf, Steve and Rosalind enjoyed lunch with the Northern Irishman, before being invited back to his house for a coffee.

"We will never forget out day with GMac. You build these things up and hope they will be everything you hope for but the day exceeded our wildest dreams.

"You could not meet a more down to earth, friendly, welcoming 'superstar'."

The NGCC does a fantastic job in supporting our wounded soldiers, and works tirelessly to ensure they get the help they deserve. It is also testament to the golfing community that so many people are prepared to get on board with such a great cause.

"We have travelled extensively and had some great trips, but this is right at the top," said Steve.

"The cause generates such goodwill that it opens doors to generate such attractive packages. Ultimately you are guaranteed a great package for a fantastic cause. We will be supporting Help for Heroes events in the future."

To find out more about all the fundraising work done by the Volvo NGCC, click here.

It is currently running an auction for 130+ four balls at some of the UK's most revered golfing destinations. To see the bundle of courses, check out the video here.

Nick Bonfield
Nick Bonfield

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel with The Masters and USPGA respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email nick.bonfield@futurenet.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x